The Optimist

November 6, 1995

How do you turn a bounced check into a Child Safety Law?

Elizabeth C. Miller

originally reported by Paul Gauvin, Cape Cod Times

When someone passes a bad check to a business, the end result is often collection, but in the case of Jean Bowden of Sea Side Baby in Centerville, MA, the outcome is likely to be an important child safety law.

Ms. Bowden was the victim of check fraud in August. A women with several children came into her store and bought some goods with a bad check. The woman apparently mentioned to an employee of Ms. Bowden's that while two of the children were her own, the others were in her care as a licensed Office for Children home day-care provider.

While making inquiries about the woman, Ms. Bowden discovered that the day-care provider's driver's license had been revoked, and that she was on probation for similar check offenses. Bowden said, "and I felt she was carting children around with her committing criminal activity and jeopardizing them by driving without a license."

Concerned for the welfare of these, and other children, Ms. Bowden found that while criminal checks are made of day care providers before they become licensed, once they are licensed there is no follow-up. Ms. Bowden called her state representative, Rep. John Klimm, to see about getting the law changed. Last week, Rep. Klimm, filed the important new bill.

Klimm's bill would require

any district attorney, law enforcement agency or probation officer who has knowledge that a person licensed
by the OFC to provide home day care or preschool to notify the OFC if such a licensee is convicted of a crime, felony, or misdemeanor or violates conditions of probation to notify the OFC in writing.

The check writer's OFC license was voluntarily surrendered after the OFC sent an investigator to the woman's home to check Ms. Bowden's complaints.

Klimm says,

Most good bills, the best ideas, come from people who see things out there that need fixing.
Let's hope that this bill will quickly go through committee and be passed by the House soon.

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Created: Monday, November 06, 1995, 05:48 PM by 'liz. miller for CyberEd
Last Updated: Monday, November 06, 1995, 05:48 PM